The Haifa and Western Galilee region is one of the most varied and intriguing areas in Israel, with a variety of preserved sites and buildings that tell the story of the country from the viewpoint of the different groups living here.
The region comprises Haifa, the Krayot, Acco (Acre), Nahariya, Shlomi, Ma’alot-Tarshiha, Peki’in and Shfar’am, the regional councils of Zevulun, Mateh Asher and Ma’ale Yosef, Arab and Druse local councils, and also moshav and kibbutz communities and villages.
Haifa and Acco are home to the highest and most significant concentrations of buildings for conservation.
The Haifa conservation committee is active and meets about once a month. It holds discussions on buildings designated for conservation and drafts conservation guidelines for new urban building plans. Haifa has only a partial conservation register, and The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel is endeavouring to complete the register by obtaining authorization for surveys already completed and pushing forward on new surveys covering the entire city. The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel and the Haifa public committee are also involved in drawing up the conservation appendix for Haifa’s urban development plan.
In Old Acco and in Acco of the Mandate period two separate architectural conservation committees operate under the auspices of the urban development plans applicable to the area.
Acco as a whole is something of a conservation laboratory. Work in Old Acco and in Acco of the Mandate period raises issues regarding the conservation of the heritage of different groups, and presents planners and developers with economic and social, as well as conservation, challenges.
In the regional councils of Mateh Asher, Zevulun and Ma’alot-Peki’in[B1] , conservation committees have recently been established and have begun to operate and compile registers. In the rural areas, we face the challenge of setting up a system to enable documentation and conservation even in places with a small conservation inventory.
Haifa Public Committee
This is a very active committee made up of public figures and professionals involved in the field of conservation. It discusses building and landscape conservation matters relating to Haifa, and liases steering and work groups involved in The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel's activities: drafting plans, submitting objections and public protest.
The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel promotes physical conservation work throughout the entire region, while actively encouraging the drafting of plans and compilation of registers that will enable these buildings to be granted statutory status.
The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel enjoys a productive collaborative relationship with Haifa’s academic institutions: the Technion, Haifa University, Wizo College, the city’s primary and secondary schools and the Haifa municipality education department. In Acco, we collaborate with the Conservation Studies Department of the Western Galilee College, where a unique Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel's course for “Conservation Supporters” is also held.
Na’ama Ne’eman Mizrahi, architect,
Director, Haifa and Western Galilee Region,
The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel